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Chemical analysis of carbon stars in the Local Group
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Astronomy and Space Physics.
2008 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 481, no 1, 161-168 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims. We present new results of our ongoing chemical study of carbon stars in Local Group galaxies to test the critical dependence of s-process nucleosynthesis on the stellar metallicity. Methods. We collected optical spectra with the VLT/UVES instrument of two carbon stars found in the Carina Dwarf Spheroidal (dSph) galaxy, namely ALW-C6 and ALW-C7. We performed a full chemical analysis using the new generation of hydrostatic, spherically symmetric carbon-rich model atmospheres and the spectral synthesis method in LTE. Results. The luminosities, atmosphere parameters and chemical composition of ALW-C6 and ALW-C7 are compatible with these stars being in the TP-AGB phase undergoing third dredge-up episodes, although their extrinsic nature ( external pollution in a binary stellar system) cannot be definitively excluded. Our chemical analysis shows that the metallicity of both stars agree with the average metallicity ([Fe/H] similar to -1.8 dex) previously derived for this satellite galaxy from the analysis of both low resolution spectra of RGB stars and the observed colour magnitude diagrams. ALW-C6 and ALW-C7 present strong s-element enhancements, [s/Fe] = + 1.6, + 1.5, respectively. These enhancements and the derived s-process indexes [ls/Fe], [hs/Fe] and [hs/ls] are compatible with theoretical s-process nucleosynthesis predictions in low mass AGB stars (similar to 1.5 M(circle dot)) on the basis that the (13)C(alpha, n) (16)O is the main source of neutrons. Furthermore, the analysis of C(2) and CN bands reveals a large carbon enhancement (C/O similar to 7 and 5, respectively), much larger than the values typically found in galactic AGB carbon stars ( C/O similar to 1-2). This is also in agreement with the theoretical prediction that AGB carbon stars are formed more easily through third dredge-up episodes as the initial stellar metallicity drops. However, theoretical low-mass AGB models apparently fail to simultaneously fit the observed s-element and carbon enhancements. On the other hand, Zr is found to be less enhanced in ALW-C7 compared to the other elements belonging to the same s-peak. Although the abundance errors are large, the fact that in this star the abundance of Ti ( which has a similar condensation temperature to Zr) seems also to be lower than those of others metals, may indicate the existence of some depletion into dust-grains in its photosphere.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 481, no 1, 161-168 p.
Keyword [en]
stars : abundances, stars : carbon, galaxies : dwarf, stars : AGB and post AGB, galaxies : Local Group
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-260397DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20079114ISI: 000254195200032OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-260397DiVA: diva2:846995
Available from: 2015-08-18 Created: 2015-08-18 Last updated: 2015-08-18Bibliographically approved

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Wahlin, Rurik
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